Steven Schultz: Pre-Departure Report

My international experience to date is: My current international experience to date is next to nothing. The only time that I have ever gone abroad was when I was 8 years old my parents took me to the Bahamas for vacation, but I barely remember anything from the trip and we were only on the resort the whole time. I barely count this as an international experience. Therefore, I don’t really have any international experience whatsoever.

I want to go to China because: I want to go to China because it is one of the biggest markets for technology right now. Being able to experience China from the perspective of the electronics industry will greatly benefit my understanding of how engineers make products and produce products for different countries. I think that this experience would overall make me a better engineer because I will be able to experience first hand how different countries approach the same engineering problem, thus exposing me to different engineering ideas.

I think the main professional work differences I will experience will be: I think that the main professional work differences I will experience will be in their work culture. Several sources have mentioned that Chinese work culture encourages having a more relaxed work schedule where not as much work is done as it is in the U.S. I feel that we may see this to an extent on company visits, as it would not be surprising to see employees on lunch break based from the “Culture Smart! China” book’s information

I think the main cultural differences I will experience will be: I think that main cultural differences will be in the people’s mannerism. Mannerisms change from country to country, and China is no different. I would not be surprised if we are exposed to very quickly some mannerisms unique to China, mannerisms that we consider rude, and quickly find some of our mannerisms would be considered rude in China.

I think the main political differences I will experience will be: I think the main political differences I will experience will be the lack of freedom of speech. I feel that we will notice very quickly that there are many websites that we cannot access and the lack of news sources that will be critical of the government. We may also notice people being very careful of what they say when political topics come up.

I think the students I meet in my country will be: I think that I will find that students who I meet in China will have a mindset that is much more focused on school. Since the Chinese schooling system, from primary to post-secondary education, is very competitive and very homework heavy, students are forced to concentrate much more on school than their foreign counterparts. I think that we will see them be like any other normal student, but they will also see their intense focus on schooling.

I think the major differences in living conditions will be: I think that the major differences in living conditions will vary depending on where we are. I expect that in the Urban areas we will see middle to upper class living arrangements that will probably be noticeably smaller than their western counterparts, but I would not be surprised to see very cramped and poor living conditions in rural areas or the poor parts of urban areas.

I think the most enjoyable experience I will have during this trip will be: I think that the most enjoyable experience I will have during the trip will be the company visits. I think that it will be interesting and insightful to be able to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of phone design and manufacturing. Being able to hear this directly from the people who work to manufacture these products will also help us gain insight into the manufacturing processes used. Being able to hear first hand about this topic has me excited for the trip

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